elf baby

In between knitting a scarf for Will's birthday and longies for Andrea's baby, the Debbie Bliss cashmerino superchunky yarn I ordered arrived, and I just had to knit this little elf hat for Baby right away. The pattern is the Elf Cap from SimpleChic : Designer Knits, SuperQuick! by Jil Eaton. It was super quick, but not quite as quick as the book says. It took me about 4 hours, the pattern says 2. Oh well, I guess I'm just a slow knitter.

The pattern is super simple, too. My gauge was perfect with the yarn and size 13 needles. The toddler size took just under 1 ball of the cashmerino superchunky. I didn't put the tassle on the top that it called for, but I do have enough yarn left if I change my mind later. I love this hat, love the pattern, love the yarn, and now want to knit one for everyone in my family, including Aidan. How funny would that be? :)

I do think there is a mistake in the pattern, though. The photos in the book pretty clearly show the cable is evenly twisted (see red caps below). But the cable pattern is a 12 row repeat, with the cross overs occuring on row 4 and row 12. Which means the cable is loosely twisted, then tightly twisted, as shown on my hat below. To be evenly twisted the pattern would have had the cross overs on rows 6 and 12 (or 4 and 10). I'm not sure if the pattern is written wrong, or the samples in the photos were knit wrong. Because it looks good both ways. If it was meant to be evenly twisted, then it could have just been written as a 6 row repeat pattern, so that leads me to believe that the pattern is written correctly, and the photos are wrong. Unless it's some standard procedure to write cable patterns with 2 twists, even when they're evenly distributed. I'm not sure, maybe that's it. I wouldn't know, because this was my first ever cable project. Maybe I'll write to the author and ask. I searched online, and couldn't find an errata page or anything.


more quick gifts

Still using the Interlacements Oregon Worsted II yarn, colorway Tapestry, I knit a few more quick xmas gifts. I made another headband, making a few changes. I made the increases on the wrong side (kf&b) rather than the right side, and I think it looks much better. And I made it several centimeters shorter, since the last one was too loose.

I made this drop stitch scarf to match, and I really liked the way it turned out. I had never knit anything drop stitch before, and I had assumed it would be a quick, easy knit. It actually took a lot longer than I thought, and it totally hurt my hands. Not technically challenging, it was just a PITA because the dropped stitches makes it so loose. I really tensed up a lot to make sure I didn't drop any extra stitches. But anyways, it turned out beautiful, I love the way the colors ran a diagonal up the scarf. I was lucky with the spacing. I made the pattern up based on others I had found online. Let's see, for this I just cast on 25 stitches, knit 3 rows, did a row of (k1, yo3 across ending with a k1), then knit the next row, dropping the yos. Then I knit 4 rows, and repeated those 6 rows 31 times. Then I ended with just 3 garter stitch rows (instead of 5, to match the other end).

If I were to do something different next time, I think it would be to put only 4 rows of garter stitch between the yarn over rows, instead of 5. This way, the direction I was knitting would have switched each time I did the yo rows.

See on one end of each yo row the long stitches looked all nice, like these ones on the left. The other end of each yo row pulled the stitches up from the previous row, looking a bit messy, as seen on the right. If I had worked on each row a bit when I was done and tried tightening it up, I might have been able to make those messy stitches look a bit better, but I figured it wasn't worth the effort, since it's hard to see from far away. But in the interest of making the scarf more symmetrical, I would have switched the messy end each time. So next time.


embroidered argyle

I finished the little hooded sweater from Special Knits by Debbie Bliss. This was done with Treliske organic merino sportweight in silver. I used Denise Interchangable needles in size 7, and something about the wool was really sticky with these needles. Not so bad that I switched needles, but it did take a lot of pushing stitches around since they wouldn't slide nicely over the needles. I love this yarn though. It's super soft, and besides the stickiness, really lovely to knit with. Funnily enough, this time the hood actually seems a bit on the small side, rather than way too big like it was on the hooded kaftan I did before. I knit the sweater in the second smallest size. It turned out realy cute I think.

It became even cuter after I embroidered the argyle pattern on it. I'm so glad I decided to embroider the pattern on afterwards rather than knitting the color changes in. Embroidering took no time at all. Okay, really a few hours, but it flew by. I took the argyle chart from the same book, different pattern, but I altered it because I wanted 3 across the front, and the way it was written, I needed an odd number of stitches, and the front is an even number of stitches wide. So I doubled the width of the center diamond, and kept the side ones the same. I was going to put the pattern on the back as well, but decided against it. I need to ship this off and start some new projects!